I quit my job. I told my boss, turned in my resignation letter and read the floor-wide announcement email.
It’s official. But it doesn’t feel real.
Two years ago I transitioned to 4 days a week to make space for foster kids. That schedule fit well with our first long-term placement. Allowing me to do a job I loved and also make time to love kids. It seemed I was having my cake and eating it too.
After those three kids moved on to their adoptive family, we focused on respite (short-term) care for several months. Working outside and inside our home provided a beautiful balance.
But balance is really just the early stages of tension.
Calls for kids needing a long-term home started coming. But we couldn’t find a daycare quickly enough. Or after-school programs weren’t available. We had to turn away one after another.
The opportunity cost of designing ads and creating videos became clear.
But quitting was hard. Is hard. I’m a good creative director. And frankly, I love it. Which is something I don’t take lightly. It is an enormous privilege to love my job. To be paid to do something I enjoy.
It’s scary to have that and give it up.
And that fear hits me every time someone mentions my quitting. Usually it’s a kind co-worker congratulating me. Someone probably expecting a cheery outlook and an eloquent elevator speech. Instead they are met with a look of constipation and awkward meanderings.
Even now, I’m not sure I’m making the right decision. But we can’t really ever be sure. We make the best decision with the information we have. And the information I have is that 415,129 American kids need a home.
I pause though. Partly because I’m undoubtedly better at making ads than I am at fostering kids. After all, I’ve done it a hell of a lot longer.
And I know I hope to do it again, whether freelance or full-time. Next month or next year. I can’t imagine staying out of the creative world for long.
I’m not sure what that will look like. If I’ll find a new balance or just more tension.
Tomorrow will bring its own information and questions and persuasions. But today, a child’s need for a home trumps my need to make good ads.